The Fiddleback editors say that their mission is cross pollination; “We believe in mixing and colliding artistic disciplines to attract a diverse readership and promoting work that asserts itself.”
The narrator in Joseph Riippi’s fiction piece “Because It Is Very Important that You Listen to Me” is crying out to be heard: “I want to tell you . . .” he continues to say. The piece asks questions about war and about death, about how just one person showing compassion can change thoughts about those ideas. Ultimately, the narrator wants to know if anyone is listening, and isn’t that the question that most writers ask: is anyone really going to read this?
Elisa Gabbert and Kathleen Rooney pose in their poem that “If it’s true that everything was more beautiful // in the past, we should want to die young . . .” Because the word “disappear” appears three times in this short poem, it’s not hard to figure out what it’s about. “In the House of Self-Undoing” was written by an exchange through email and was originally written as a “pseudo-ghazal” in which they used the words “disappear” and “beautiful” to alternately end the couplets.
In Jill Talbot’s nonfiction piece “The Sage Couch,” she learns “When you live in someone else’s house, you’re one word away from being asked to leave.” Tangled in an old relationship—with the father of her daughter—she tries to write her book, while constantly finding herself back living with her married friends.
I would also recommend reading Allyson Paty’s and Wendy Xu’s poems, Ali Rachel Pearl’s nonfiction piece, and Chris Messer’s fiction piece. The Fiddleback also features a musician and an artist, with accompanying interviews.
The writers in this issue of The Fiddleback have a strong hold on the way their words flow onto the page. Each sentence/line is excellently crafted, so that even if the story isn’t your favorite topic, it’s still a thrill to read.